Committee Bio: Colonel R. J. Carson

Colonel R. J. Carson, CD
Former Colonel Commandant

October 1973 - September 1978

Colonet “Bunt” Carson, son of the late Brigadier Sir Charles F Carson, RE, was born in Muree, Punjab, India, in 1914. Entering the Royal Military College of Canada in 1932, he graduated RMC in 1936 and he went on to Queen’s University to obtain his baccalaureate degree in Civil Engineering in 1937.

Colonel Carson was commissioned as a lieutenant in the Corps of Royal Canadian Engineers in 1936. Upon graduation from university he was first employed on design and construction of fortifications on Canada’s coasts. After serving in other various engineer appointments in Canada he went overseas as a major with 4th Battalion RCE. In July 1942 he assumed command of 14th Field Company RCE, 2 Canadian Corps Troops, until May 1943 when he returned to Canada to attend Staff College. After returning overseas in late 1943 he filled various staff and command appointments including Senior Officer, Canadian Engineers at Headquarters 2 Canadian Corps, Brigade Major 1st Canadian Army Group RCE, and command of 31st Field Company RCE. From war’s end to April 1946 he served as Commander, RCE (Works) with the Canadian Occupation Force in Europe.

After April 1946 Colonel Carson served in various engineer, staff and command appointments including Command Engineer, Eastern Command, GSO 1 Officer of the Chief Engineer, Liaison Officer with the Deputy Chief of Staff, Intelligence, U.S. Army, Washington. On his return to Canada he became Command Engineer, Western Command. In June 1956 on promotion to colonel he became Commandant RCSME and subsequently was appointed Commander Fort Churchill. In 1962 he became Chief Engineer Canadian Army, remaining until that office was disbanded in November 1964. He then served as Director of International Operations until his retirement in October 1965.

On his retirement from the Canadian Forces, Colonel Carson was associated with the Engineering Institute of Canada on the Consultant Committee on Road Safety, and was the Ottawa representative for CANCON Engineering. In 1969, on moving to Vancouver, Colonel Carson joined the consulting firm of Associated Engineering Services. In October 1972, Colonel and Mrs (Maxine) Carson retired to their country home at Saanichton, on Vancouver Island, just outside Victoria.

On 8 May 1973, Colonel Carson was appointed the first Colonel Commandant of the Canadian Military Engineer Branch. His predecessor, Brigadier Melville CBE, MC, ED, CD, was Honorary Colonel Commandant of the RCE). He served in this position until 27 September 1978.

Colonel Carson is an active member, and has held executive positions in The Engineering Institute of Canada; the Military Engineers Association of Canada; the Association of Professional Engineers for the Province of Ontario; the Association of Professional Engineers for the Province of British Columbia; the Roads and Transportation Association of Canada; the Rideau Club; and the Canadian Club.

Colonel Carson died on 29 Mar 1992.